GMA Gala 2023 celebrates ‘new era of collaboration and creativity’

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier Cruz - The Philippine Star
GMA Gala 2023 celebrates �new era of collaboration and creativity�
Kapuso and Kapamilyang Kapuso at the GMA thanksgiving gala: (From left) ABS-CBN COO Cory Vidanes, GMA Network chairman, president and CEO Felipe Gozon, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, and GMA SVP and GMA Films president Annette Gozon Valdes.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine entertainment industry marked a milestone last July 22 as its brightest stars came together and sparkled at the GMA Gala 2023.

Together with GMA executives, industry partners, government officials, members of the media, beauty queens, and friends from all sectors, the event happened at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.

Wearing ethereal gowns and elegant suits, the stars walked the red carpet with glitz, glamor, and glitter.

Standing, from left, are Gab Romualdez, Anja Gozon Abrogar, Annette Gozon-Valdes, Shintaro Valdes, Raffy Viterbo and Blas Viterbo. Seated, from left, are Felipe Gozon, Tess Gozon and Maritess Gozon-Viterbo.

Leading the celebration were GMA chairman and CEO lawyer Felipe Gozon and GMA SVP for programming, talent management, worldwide, and support group, and GMA Films president lawyer Annette Gozon-Valdes.

FLG, as Gozon is fondly called in the network, reminisced the company’s humble beginnings and expressed his joy for the continuous success of GMA. He thanked the artists, journalists, directors, writers, talents, creatives, employees, and partners, both old and new, for being part of the station’s successful journey.

Rayver Cruz and Julie Anne San Jose (Sparkle Love Team of the Night).

Another highlight of the party was the fundraising for the benefit of the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Through the help of the sponsors, part of the GMA Gala 2023 proceeds will be donated to assist students and educators across the country.

And, of course, the star-studded gathering also acknowledged those who stood out and dazzled the most.

FRONTROW Luxxe Royalty awardee Anne Curtis (center) with Frontrow International president RS Francisco and CEO Sam Versoza. – Photos Courtesy Of Nice Print Photography

Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera were named Couple of the Night, as well as newly-engaged couple Bea Alonzo and Dominic Roque.

Meanwhile, Rayver Cruz and Julie Anne San Jose took home the award for Sparkle Love Team of the Night.

Ruru Madrid and Bianca Umali were recognized as Young Stars of the Night (Male and Female).

Alden Richards was named Sparkle Star of the Night (Male), while Heart Evangelista was hailed Sparkle Star of the Night (Female).

David Licauco and Herlene Budol were chosen as TikTok Crowd Favorites of the Night (Male and Female).

Other special awardees included Barbie Forteza as Avignon Radiant Beauty of The Night; Gabbi Garcia as LazBeauty Look of the Night; Jillian Ward as Premier Star of the Night and The Sparkling Smile of the Night; Anne Curtis as FRONTROW Luxxe Royalty; Kyline Alcantara as Luxxe White Face of the Night; and Andrea Torres as the winner for Discover Your Travel Sparkle with PAL Photo Contest.

A very special production number from the lovely ladies of GMA’s board of directors, Laurie Westfall, Gozon-Valdes and Judith Duavit-Vasquez, was a fitting finale to the evening’s revelry. They showed their dancing and singing skills. While grooving to the songs You Gotta Be and I Wanna Dance with Somebody, the crowd cheered, sang, and danced to the surprise production number, sealing the night’s resounding success.

The star-studded gala was indeed the biggest event in the industry this year. In fact, #GMAGala2023 has already garnered over 300 million video views and counting across all GMA Network, Sparkle GMA Artist Center, and the artists’ social media posts.

It was indeed a perfect evening to look back at the journey of GMA. And as an exclusive to all our Kapuso Day readers, here’s the full message of our chairman and CEO at the GMA Gala 2023.

“Honorable members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, government officials, distinguished guests, mga minamahal kong Kapuso — good evening and welcome to the 2023 GMA Thanksgiving Gala!

“For the first time after the pandemic, I finally get to see all of you once again in such a lovely occasion. Tonight is a rare spectacle — a dazzling event of the brightest stars under one roof with leaders of both government and the private sector, our peers in the industry, and our valued partners coming together in camaraderie and fellowship. We are grateful for your presence tonight.

“Last year, we celebrated the coming back of showbiz after the gradual lifting of the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we celebrate a new era of collaboration and creativity.

“Many good things have happened to GMA Network and I thank the Lord for the amazing journey we have taken. The 73 years of GMA is a classic fairy tale. From a Network born in a makeshift studio in Escolta with 1 used transmitter, we have grown to 101 TV stations, hundreds of artists, and countless award-wining and groundbreaking programs.

“We are also relaunching GMA Pictures with an exciting slate of films: First is The Cheating Game, which will be shown in cinemas on July 26; fantasy drama Firefly; horror movie Penthouse 77, and science-fiction romance Version 2.

“This wonderful world of media and entertainment is built on dreams and hard work, vision and teamwork. At the heart of this industry are the people in this room.

“To our beautiful and handsome artists: Thank you for choosing to share your talents and skills with GMA. You are called stars for a reason. Advocate for good because you have been blessed to influence and inspire others.

“To our journalists: I have always believed that providing Filipinos with timely, comprehensive, objective and balanced news and information is our primary duty and obligation. Thank you for embodying Serbisyong Totoo in your work.

“I would like to take this moment to applaud the people behind the cameras. Whenever you hear the story of a student who bought and read Noli Me Tangere because of Maria Clara at Ibarra, a child who dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon inspired by Abot Kamay Na Pangarap, people who are motivated to protect the environment because of Lolong, the laughter and fun in watching Bubble Gang, families who try to solve the mystery behind Royal Blood and Filipino pride in Voltes V Legacy, and many others — take a moment to appreciate those who work behind the scenes — the writers, directors, artists and creatives behind these powerful and unforgettable shows.

“To our executives and officers: I know I have been hard and tough on you. But I am very proud of our achievements together. From breakthrough concepts and trail-blazing programs to a solid and pristine balance sheet, you and the entire workforce of GMA are truly the Network’s best assets.

“To our valued partners: I am pleased to see many of you celebrating with us this evening. But whether you’re a longtime Kapuso partner or a Kapamilyang Kapuso — tonight is just one of our ways of saying thank you for joining us on this stellar journey.

“Let me also congratulate Sparkle, the team behind this gala. Thank you also to all the other departments in GMA for your full support of this event. May this gala be remembered as the night we all came together as one industry.

“Let the milestones we celebrate tonight, remind us of our blessings from the Lord and our reason for being here — to enrich the lives of Filipinos with superior entertainment and responsible, unbiased, accurate news and information.

“Thank you and let’s all enjoy the rest of this evening.”

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